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Managing Industry 4.0 Technologies and Their Impact on the Sustainable Performance of Territories

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

The submission portal for this SI will open December 1, 2019

Guest Editors

Prof. Ilias Vlachos, La Rochelle Business School, Excelia-Group, France (
Dr. Morgane M.C. Fritz, La Rochelle Business School, Excelia-Group, France (
Dr. Salomée Ruel, La Rochelle Business School, Excelia-Group, France (
Prof. Vikas Kumar, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, UK (

There is a proliferation of technological advances, which are often described under the umbrella term of Industry 4.0 (Wagner and Walton, 2016). Undoubtedly, these technologies aim to improve the productivity and performance of the firms that adopt them, yet the effects of high rates of adoption and diffusion in regions and territories is largely remaining unexplored (Rüßmann et al., 2015). For example, artificial intelligence, smart systems, smart cities, predictive analytics, blockchain, autonomous vehicles, Big Data, Internet of Things are technologies and applications that increasingly change the way business operate and have a particular effect on newly established companies, entrepreneurship, small but also larger companies as well as their supply chain (Schwab, 2016).

The ways new technologies affect the context in which they are being adopted has largely been omitted in the academic literature. Although servicescape is well established in the marketing literature (Nilsson and Ballantyne, 2014), the regional and territorial effects of technological networks are yet under-researched. Past studies have documented the technology productivity paradox (Brynjolfsson, 1993) to describe that productivity and performance in industries and territories did not follow the investments in and expectations from new technologies (Hajli, Sims, and Ibragimov, 2015). Also, following research in sustainability management, the social dimension remains understudied in the field of Industry 4.0 compared to the economic and environmental dimensions (Bag et al., 2018) and such gap needs to be addressed in theory and practice. Some studies tend to identify opportunities related to Industry 4.0. technologies like Big Data and show there could be advantages for sustainable supply chain management that directly or indirectly impact the sustainable performance of territories such as product and market strategies, customization of deliveries, cost reductions, new business models, collaboration with entire supply chain ecosystems (Kache and Seuring, 2017). These improvements however do not go without challenges for companies like ethics, change management, IT infrastructures, investments, talent management, cyber security and governance systems (Kache and Seuring, 2017). Opportunities and challenges of sustainability and Industry 4.0 technologies for territories remain unexplored and further research is needed to identify them.

The purpose of this special issue is to present the most recent theoretical and practical developments in Industry 4.0 technologies and their impact on the sustainable performance of territories. Areas of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Sustainable innovations and their effects on companies and their supply chains
  • Development of new and sustainable business models to increase territories sustainability performance
  • Measurement and assessment of the impact of technological innovations on sustainable performance of territories
  • Stakeholder analysis of engagement and interactions related to sustainable innovations (including not-for-profit organisations)
  • Bottom-up initiatives related to the sustainable performance and innovations of territories
  • Entrepreneurship and new business models impact on the sustainable performance of territories

The lists of themes are meant to define the broader context of the special issue. We welcome a diversity of research on the topic. However, it is expected that the articles exhibit their impact on the SI topic.

Submission deadline: 31st March 2020

Paper submission
Papers submitted at the 14th RIODD conference taking place from 25 until 27th September in La Rochelle, France, ( with substantial changes later on are encouraged for submission.

Authors should submit their manuscripts in MSWord to
Authors must select "Special Issue: Managing Industry 4.0 technologies and their impact on the sustainable performance of territories" when selecting the article type.

By submitting a manuscript author(s) certify that the contribution is original and has not been published or is under consideration for publication elsewhere and that no part of the material breaches the right of others. All articles will be double-blind peer reviewed by at least two anonymous referees. Authors are advised to ensure that their submission conforms to the IJPPM author’s guidelines at:

Bag, S.,Telukdarie, A., Pretorius, J.H.C., Gupta, Shivam, (2018), “Industry 4.0 and supply chain sustainability: framework and future research directions”, Benchmarking: An International Journal,
Brynjolfsson, E., (1993), “The productivity paradox of information technology”, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 36, No. 12, pp. 66-77.
Hajli, M., Sims, J.M. and Ibragimov, V., (2015), “Information technology (IT) productivity paradox in the 21st century”, International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 64, No. 4, pp. 457-478.
Kache, F., Seuring, S., (2017), “Challenges and opportunities of digital information at the intersection of Big Data Analytics and supply chain management”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp.10-36.
Nilsson, E. and Ballantyne, D., (2014), “Reexamining the place of servicescape in marketing: a service-dominant logic perspective”, Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 5, pp. 374-379.
Rüßmann, M., Lorenz, M., Gerbert, P. Waldner, M., Justus, J., Engel, P., and Harnisch, M., (2015), “Industry 4.0: The future of productivity and growth in manufacturing industries”, Boston Consulting Group, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 54-89.
Schwab, K., (2016). “The fourth industrial revolution”, Geneva, Switzerland: World Economic Forum.
Wagner, S.M., and Walton, R.O., (2016), “Additive manufacturing’s impact and future in the aviation industry”, Production Planning and Control, Vol. 27, pp. 1124-1130.